If this government have any interest in housing it is covered in the defining issues of localism and the big society. We will as a sector will be expected to drive these agendas without, in my opinion, enough care and consideration having gone into the workload of the already overstretched staff and volunteers. To expect all housing providers to perform within this future multi disciplinary world will surely create a postcode lottery the like of nothing we have ever experienced.
The theories that are expressed in relation to ‘the big society’ are very grandiose; some of the examples we were shown and told about are indeed inspiring. But, as any focus group discussion that covers half a dozen different landlords will show, the disparity of services provided across the sector is huge.
I am disappointed that the sector has so completely taken on the need to do everything (social work, police role, education and so on).
I would be much happier with a sector that stood up and said our core business is providing good housing so that people can thrive in well cared for homes.
Then and only then take on the other roles and make sure government understand that added value is just that 'added value'. If the sector does not make this stand the time will come when a landlord that provides good housing will be viewed as a failing entity. Whereas the landlord who does ‘a bells and whistles added value presentation’ will be judge as good regardless of state of their housing stock.
As a tenant I pay my rent for a housing service, and I naively thought, that, the other services that myself and everyone else receives are paid for from the various taxes we all pay.